Intern, Urban Transformation, Cities, George Washington University, Washington


Position at World Resources Institute

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, or other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually-driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

Cities Overview

The WRI Ross Prize is a new initiative by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. It is a global competition supported by Stephen M. Ross to celebrate transformative projects that have ignited citywide change. This is the largest prize of its kind recognizing transformative urban impact. It is an interdisciplinary effort that seeks out urban projects with strong environmental, social, and economic impact, and awards their ability to create transformative change in their city. The WRI Ross Center defines transformative projects as: those which change the form and function of urban economies, environments and communities; open our eyes to new possibilities by overcoming bottlenecks, leveraging investments, or offering new and scalable approaches to solving well-known problems; create impact that extends beyond the initial site or intervention, catalyzing positive change throughout a neighborhood or city.

In just the first year there were nearly 200 submissions from countries all over the globe and we expect that the second round will experience even greater interest. The WRI Ross Prize is built from the core subject areas of the Cities program at WRI and takes shape and form as an initiative that creatively assesses the ripple effect of innovative ideas around the world. We are searching for a smart and energetic individual to help us spread the word about the exciting findings and discoveries that the WRI Ross Prize team is generating and help turn this initiative into a globally renowned 'urban Oscars.'

Internship Summary

As the Ross Prize intern, you will create a communications initiative to help garner interest and excitement for the second round of the prize cycle, forming a liaison between the Ross Prize and Communications teams. You will bring new strategy and campaign ideas to the team and make connections between urban transformations research and different target audiences.

  • Identify and segment target audiences and outlets and develop a strategy to engage them

The WRI Ross Prize is an interdisciplinary effort that highlights and promotes outstanding urban transformations around the world. Due to its cross-sectoral nature, there are a variety of platforms that could be of interest for prize promotional-purposes. You will be responsible for identifying which platforms to target and devising a media strategy campaign to approach the outlets.

  • Leverage existing WRI Ross Prize assets and resources to contribute to the discussion of urban transformation on social media

This will entail a deep review of submissions from the first round of the Ross Prize, which range in subject matter from mobility to waste management and identifying stories that could be of interest to different media platforms. Ideally, the intern will identify stories and themes that promote the institution's definition of transformative projects.

Additionally, you will come up will ways to highlight non-finalist applicants and initiatives. In doing so, the conversation about urban transformation can be continued year-round.

  • Partner with the communications team to build the prize-cycle outreach and communications strategy

You will be responsible for bringing ideas to the table of how to promote and create excitement about the WRI Ross Prize and urban transformation over the course of the second prize cycle. This will involve understanding the key opportunities to engage media and other stakeholders and developing tactics to promote each stage of the process. This is quite an open initiative: you are encouraged to think out of the box and do research on other ways that organizations have publicized their work. The final product will be a detailed outline of the different media initiatives to take at each stage of the Ross Prize, with a breakdown of how the team can prepare for each.

Learning Outcomes

You will be expected to complete a project during the internship that can later be implemented into the Ross Prize communications strategy to help promote the work of the institute, as well as the specific submissions to the prize. During the duration of the internship, you will attend weekly project meetings and contribute new ideas to the development of the WRI Ross Prize.

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

Communication & Outreach (50%)

  • Develop a long-term media strategy for the duration of the 2020 prize cycle with goals and tasks for the Ross Prize team to complete leading up to each stage
  • Assist the communications team with their Ross Prize promotional tasks
  • Contribute to writing blogs on subjects relating to the Prize, such as urban development, sustainability, and effective governance
  • Assist with ad hoc needs of the Ross Prize team, such as project recruitment, monitoring the Ross Prize email, and meeting coordination and preparation

Research (50%)

  • Identify and segment target audiences and media outlets that would be interested in promoting urban transformation stories and the findings of the WRI Ross Prize
  • Create a strategy to promote the Ross Prize on social media, with clear objectives and tasks
  • Find and connect past submissions to new ideas for the Ross Prize social media campaign
  • Conduct background research when needed on topics relevant to the Ross Prize

Internship Qualifications

  • University-sponsored: You must be a current student in the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University
  • Current master's degree student preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in social media strategy
  • Demonstrated background or interest in urban affairs
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner
  • Ability to work calmly and enthusiastically under high pressure
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated
  • Good sense of humor
  • Extremely well organized, efficient and flexible

Fit with the team & impact on ongoing activities

You will join a small but growing team of interdisciplinary WRI staff working on defining the field of urban transformation. The communications strategy will add to existing research, communication and outreach activities of the WRI Ross Prize team that focus on building momentum and multi-stakeholder dialogue on the initiative.

You will be based in the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities with the Urban Development team.

General Internship Requirements

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.
  • U.S. work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.

Compensation: University Sponsored: This position is dependent on the student receiving compensation or academic credit from their university program. WRI does not offer compensation for this internship.

Duration: This is a full-time, 12-week summer internship with start date options of May 16, June 3, or June 17, 2019, based on the student's availability and need for the project.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI's policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI's global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Friday, March 15, 2019